Tag Archives: simple

It’s an Asia Thing

My first foray into Asia was to India. I marvelled at the temples of Tamil Nadu, spent Christmas in KodaiKanal and saw the sunset at Cape Cormorin. There was a visit to a strange circus in Kerala, a boat trip in Cochin and lots of ice cream in Goa. We went to markets, met Mormons, climbed Cape Rama Fort and left through the gateway to India in Bombay.

Next was a school trip to Indonesia where we were educated in all the traditional arts and crafts from batik to silver making. We travelled through Lombok, Bali, Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan. The highlights were the vast Borobudur temple and the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

On the way home we went through Sentosa Island in Singapore. There have been many trips to the land of the Merlion since then to explore the food in Chinatown, the shops on Orchard Rd and visit friends, now expats of the city.

Close by is my favourite Asian destination of Malaysia. The fabulous food halls in Malacca, the life of Penang and the beautiful islands of course. So far I have visited Pulau Kapas, Pulau Pangkor and Pulau Tioman twice. Each island is special and interesting in its own way for the monkey in a hammock, the snorkelling or the sunsets.

The first time I went to Bangkok in Thailand I thought it was a big dirty Asian city. I thought Phuket was incredibly spoilt by tourism and I was sure I would never return. How wrong I was, as the island of Koh Lanta was to become the special place where I became engaged and later married. The little town of Ban Saladan and the beach at Kaw Kwang will forever have a piece of my heart.

Vietnam was a pleasant surprise, largely untouched by the greed of making a buck when I went there. I loved Hanoi, the city built around Haan Kim Lake and was fascinated by the other side of history as the story of Ho Chi Min unfolded before me. Halong Bay was undoubtedly beautiful and the little French colonial hill village of Tam Dao was a rare treasure.

When you think of places to go in Asia, South Korea is probably not at top of mind. However, I found I very much enjoyed discovering the two sides of Seoul. One deep in the traditions of markets, gates and palaces; and the other slightly crazy side of shopping centres, theme parks and off beat fashion.

I wish I had visited Hong Kong before the English handed it back to the locals, just to see how much it had changed. The modern world could clearly be seen here, but there were still the remnants of old. Like the Star Ferry and the fact that the city still had many large green spaces that had not yet been bulldozed by development. The smog of Victoria Peak reminded me that it was still Asia, but back on the ground there was always a drink in Soho to cool you down.

Yes, Asia can be hot, dirty and tiring; but it is also exciting, enticing and an assault to the senses. Riding in tuk tuks, bargaining with the friendly locals and appreciating the simple things in life. Asia has a lot to teach us and I sincerely hope that modernisation doesn’t engulf it to the point where it can no longer be recognised for the glorious cultural explosion it is.

Related posts: It’s a Sri Lankan Thing, Destination Thailand, 2010, Thailand, 2009, South Korea, 2008, Malaysia, 2006, Vietnam, 2003, Thailand, 2002, Sri Lanka, 1998, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, 1994, Indonesia and Singapore, 1994, England, Singapore and Malaysia, 1988, India, 1987- 1998, Part 2: The Journey North, India 1987- 1988, Part 1: The Road South

It’s the simple things

Today, we have a short post for a simple idea. It’s not often that we take the time to appreciate the simple things in life.

The feeling when you are walking through the park on a sunny day

Sitting down and enjoying  the breeze and the view

The taste of your favourite ice cream

The smell after a good rain shower

The sound of the city or even of silence

I’m sometimes so busy getting to where I am going or thinking about what I want to do, that I forget to stop and look around me. So much can be missed this way.

Maybe feeling joy about the little things is a better way to enjoy every day life and not get bogged down in the things that can irritate us.

I’m sure this is no revelation. Monks have been teaching this kind of thing in Buddhism for year’s right?

There is also something to be said for living in the moment and not worrying about what’s around the corner. Perhaps not a good long term savings plan, but a life full of experiences instead. And who’s to say which is more valuable?

Personally, I almost always go for the experience and not worry about money. But this can also be dangerous, so you sometimes have to be selective and reasonable in your choices and not go abseiling in favour of being able to buy groceries for the week.

By enjoying the simple things in life, you can get satisfaction on a budget. It costs nothing to go to the park, go for a walk and use your senses to tune into the world around you.

And what a wonderful world it is if you can only take the time to  stop and look around.

Related posts: Adventurous vs Risk taker, It’s all in the attitude, Happy Holidays, Random Public Holiday Ramblings, Kicking goals

What’s Inspiring about your Event?

Inspire EX is an exhibition and showcase for events professionals held in Sydney. I went to the event two years ago to attend some educational seminars and found out that “What’s hot right now” in events was Mexican. Mexican, I thought, what are they on about? Nobody does Mexican.

And then the whole world exploded with a love of Mexico. You couldn’t open an airline magazine without seeing another article on Tulum and Sydney became inundated with Mexican restaurants selling authentic fish tacos.

So, I came to InspireEX 2014 to be updated on what was hot, attend the keynote presentation by John Daly and find out the best use of Social Media for Events from Yvonne Adele.

John Daly’s keynote presentation, “What’s so great about face to face,” was inspiring and made me wish I could go and work with him in Santa Barbara on all his fun and exciting events. His concepts of teamwork, site inspections and working with timelines were illustrated by lovely examples of events he had worked on like the restoration of a garden at a French chateau, transforming a generic hotel foyer with a Japanese theme and being serenaded by the Vienna boys’ choir while fixing flowers to an altar for the Pope.

The new trend of hybrid events was also discussed- that is the use of social media for low budget events. The example given was of a surfer who tweeted 25 of his friends which translated in 1 million followers of 100 mini coopers shining headlights on the ocean at midnight while the surfers rode their waves.

And one final tip- never marry a divorce attorney.

Yvonne’s presentation on the best use of social media for events was very practical and useful with lots of ideas on things that a business can implement in social media to increase their event reach. The key is planning activities for before, during and after the event itself and finding the remarkable that can be re-marketed. Yvonne’s top two pieces of advice were to create content which is compelling to share and use the next level of social media platform tools. Smart stuff.

So, what’s hot right now? Tell me already, you say!

Well, according to a panel of top event professionals- Mexican is OUT and Simple and Rustic is IN.

And it’s also called on trend now.

People are looking for:

  • Extraordinary events
  • Unique venues
  • Visual memories
  • Colour
  • Statement pieces
  • Stand up dining
  • Interactive meals
  • East meets East cuisine e.g. Korean and US
  • Green screen entertainment e.g. hologram of performer who is not actually present at the event
  • The latest technology
  • Engagement in events
  • Volume

Watch the world around you for simple and rustic stand up restaurants with East meets East cuisine popping up everywhere and articles about rustic and simple extraordinary colourful events appearing in your airline magazines. And remember you heard it from me first!

Well, after all the other InspireEX event reporters and twitterers anyway.

If you like what you just read- please vote for me on the Big Blog Exchange Competition 2014!

Related posts: Kicking Goals, The Seven Year Itch, By Special Request, All Creatures Great and Small, I first started writing